Got a case of the green-eyed monster? Jealousy in a relationship can present itself as a cocktail of irrational and destructive thoughts that leave us feeling insecure, paranoid, and even angry. You might worry you’re not good enough, or that your partner will find happiness with someone else.
While jealousy is a normal emotion, it can be toxic and damaging if it shapes the way we feel about ourselves and the world.
We hope these tips help if you’re struggling with jealousy and insecurities in your relationship.
Recognise and Challenge Negative Thoughts
Next time you’re overcome by feelings of jealousy, take a breath and acknowledge the thought that triggered these feelings. Is there evidence behind this thought, or is your mind playing tricks on you?
Challenge irrational thoughts and replace them with more realistic ones. For example, you might be worried that your partner is on a night out without you, and might meet someone else. Ask yourself if your partner has done or said anything to make you feel like they’d betray your trust. If not, remind yourself that your partner loves and respects you, and hasn’t broken your trust in the past.
When we acknowledge that we’re feeling jealous, we take away some of that jealousy’s power. We also create an opportunity to learn something about ourselves and grow.
Work on Yourself
Everyone gets jealous now and then, but if you’re in a secure and solid relationship and jealousy is still a problem for you, it might be a sign of low self-esteem.
Reflect on yourself and your past experiences to determine why you might be feeling this way without provocation from your partner. Maybe you’ve been hurt by partners in the past. Maybe you’re not confident in yourself and what you have to offer. Or maybe you have a habit of comparing yourself to unrealistic standards on social media.
Addressing the real problem can help you improve your self-esteem and stop projecting your insecurities onto your relationship.
Build Your Own Life
It’s not healthy to rely on your partner for fulfilment. To avoid being dependent on your partner and overly invested in how they’re spending their time, try to build interests and an identity outside your partner and your relationship.
Fill your time with the things you enjoy. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Your partner can’t be responsible for your happiness – that can only come from you. And when you’re happy with who you are and what you have going on in your own life, you’ll likely be more comfortable with your partner doing their own thing, too.
Communicate with Your Partner
Never assume your partner knows how you feel or what you need. Be honest and open about how you’re feeling, and where possible, clearly express the triggers or behaviours that lead to your feelings of jealousy. This will allow them to consider how they might be contributing to the problem, and how they can modify their actions to support you to feel secure.
If you’d like some support addressing issues around jealousy and self-esteem, our experienced counsellors can help. We also provide relationship counselling to help you and your partner find ways to manage your situation effectively. Learn more about our counselling services and how to book an appointment here.
Learn how to set healthy boundaries in your relationships here.